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AOL and Time Warner deal done

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AOL Inc and Time Warner have finally been given the nod to join hands and create a new, mega media empire.

And about bloody time too. A year and a day have passed since the pair first announced their intentions. It seems like an eternity ago.

The $105 billion (£70 billion) deal creates a monster Internet and media corporation. How monstrous it becomes has yet to be seen.

Despite winning some assurances, it's unlikely that Walt Disney, Microsoft and the other outfits that opposed the merger will be happy with the outcome. But hey, that's life.

Of course, some pundits reckon that the deal will improve consumer choice immeasurably. We shall see.

The Pay Off

So, AOL and Time Warner now get to call themselves - wait for it, wait for it - AOL Time Warner. Brilliant.

However, while the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was unanimous in its approval for the deal to go ahead, there was a spilt vote regarding the imposition of some "restrictions".

It measn that future editions of AOL Time Warner's instant messaging services must be non-proprietary and interoperable with other services. And its broadband networks has to be subject to competitive forces allowing other ISPs a slice of the action.

In a statement Steve Case, chairman of AOL Time Warner, said: "This is a historic moment for consumers everywhere, and a tremendous step toward our goal of becoming the world's most respected and valued company. "

Enough already... ®

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